Zen-Like Living

Here are my best tips for creating a Zen-like home. Having lived in Zen monasteries in Europe and Japan, has offered me unique first hand experiences of the Zen approach. Follow the link for a fascinating account of my 3-month stay at a Zen temple in the Japanese mountains.

Ever seen a Zen painting? A circle here and a dot there. Ultimately, Zen is about emptying the mind and living in the present moment.

Simplicity Is Balance

It's a wonderful experience to walk into a clean home featuring plenty of open space and just a few decorations such as a Zen print on the wall, a plant on the floor and perhaps some objects from nature here and there. Zen living, is balanced living.

You want to get rid of excess furniture and put away everything that's lying around on tables, counters and the floor. A major clean up like this makes for plenty of open space and simplicity in the true sense of the word.

So, clear up your living quarters and create a harmonious environment. The key to clearing piles of paperwork and everything else that clutter most homes, is to get organized.

No one wants to hear that word, I know. It can be an overwhelming task but here we're talking about some general organizing and not sorting everything you own. And don't worry, once you're done you can take the most important items back out - to make life practical.

Zen Philosophy

Once your home has been cleared, you can turn it into an oasis by giving it a Zen touch. There are no hard rules, so set your creativity free. How about a black & white Zen print on the wall. Other ways of creating a Zen feel include posters of meditative rock gardens or plain Japanese-shoji screens.

With a sizable mirror on the wall, you should be able to create the impression of even more space. And why not invite nature into your home. Stones and plants make for serenity, you could even add a small waterfall.

Balance is vital, so don't overdecorate...

Keeping It Clean

Here are a few pointers on how to keep your creation clean:

- Clear the tables

- Wash the dishes

- Make the beds

- Put away the laundry

- Clean the bathrooms

- Mop the floors

All of the above doesn't have to be done on a daily basis, besides it's not that big-a-deal to maintain something that's basically already clean.

In the Zen monastery in Japan, we had a speedy morning routine where we mopped all the floors, cleaned bathrooms and the main temple, which was all it took to keep the place nice and clean.

Zen is about simplicity and makes for happy living.

Best of luck!

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Related:   Zen Meditation   Simple Living   Zen Buddhism

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